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Friday Revisions: Attack of the Shiny New Idea

Writers all have their personal plagues. Mine is the Shiny New Idea. It is a virus that attacks the minute I sit down with my latest batch of revisions. Oh look, it makes me say, bright and shiny bling…I want!

And instead of sitting me down to edit or revise the piece that has been patiently waiting (well, tapping its fingers at me), off I go to chase the Shiny New Idea…or should I call it Shiny Idea New…cos then the acronym reads SIN, which is what it is, I tell you. And if it is any consolation, better minds than mine have succumbed to it.

So today, I’ve decided to stop slavering over new ideas in my daily writing practice, (WIP related prompts only!) and bring a new antidote into the equation: the Revise Or Die, or ROD. Deadlines, that’s what my sorry ass needs, I’ve figured. So I’ll go back to my stories and ready them for submission…each with a self-given deadline. And if that doesn’t work, I don’t know what will.

What is your personal plague as a writer? Have you ever faced a consistent attack of the Shiny New Idea?

Today, Cherie Rich is interviewing me about my book A to Z Stories of Life and Death at Surrounded by Books Reviews . I’m grateful to her for taking the time and would love you guys to death if you came over and chatted me up over at her blog!

40 authors and 4 organizers at the  Rule of Three Blogfest so far. It is a month-long shared-world fiction extravaganza starting 5th October— with some great prizes, ooodles of fun, and of course, a lot of exposure for your writing. This is one Blogfest fiction authors ought not to miss. Go Sign Up Now!

Damyanti Biswas

Damyanti Biswas is the author of You Beneath Your Skin and numerous short stories that have been published in magazines and anthologies in the US, the UK, and Asia. She has been shortlisted for Best Small Fictions and Bath Novel Awards and is co-editor of the Forge Literary Magazine. Her literary crime thriller series, the Blue Mumbai, is represented by Lucienne Diver from The Knight Agency. Both The Blue Bar and The Blue Monsoon were published in 2023.

I appreciate comments, and I always visit back. If you're having trouble commenting, let me know via the contact form, or tweet me up @damyantig !

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  • Damyanti says:

    Happy to meet so many new fellow-SINners!

    Am not feeling on top of myself lately, so will skip individual answers for this one. But I'm visiting all of you back 🙂

  • I'm so guilty of the Shiny New Idea syndrom! But it's not so bad after all – there is always another story to be writen 🙂

  • Donna Hole says:

    I like revision better than writing the first draft. But I also get distracted by new ideas lately.

    Good luck with the deadline concept. I love you acronyms (hmm, I can't spell today).


  • Cheryl says:

    Hi Damyanti, I'm sorry, I'm going to have to pull out of this – I have too much going on at work right now and not enough time for everything I'm doing so somethng has to give. Hope it all goes great – I'm sure it will! 🙂

  • Rebecca Emin says:

    I totally agree with this, I have attacks of the Shiny New Idea quite regularly but usually when there is something else that needs work.

    It's when the ideas dry up completely that we need to be worrying though!

  • shoreacres says:

    That's why I love my little wordpress "Posts" link. It saves both published posts and drafts. Right now, I have published 199 posts, but I have 162 drafts "in process".

    Some of them are only a title. Some have a conclusion, others a rough outline. But whenever a shiny new idea comes to me, I take it by the hand and lead it over to the draft file. Sometimes I'll think of something that goes with one of my drafts, and I'll go add it. Then, I tiptoe out and go back to what I'm working on, knowing the Shiny New Idea will be there when I get back.

    It's also a good antidote for the fear I'll run out of topics!

  • I am constantly fighting off the shiny new ideas that tickle my ears and my brain when I'm trying to focus on rewrites. I have one that is particularly persistent right now. I've smacked it down and am holding it under my heel at the moment. In all seriousness, though, I will allow myself a few minutes each day AFTER my allotted time for rewrites is done to jot a few notes for SIN. In fact, I have promised SIN that I will release it for NaNo this year. But until then, firmly under foot.

  • Oh, wow. Did you ever nail this one. SNI virus galore over here. When you find the antidote, lemme know. Heck, I'd settle for an anecdote.

    Hope things are well!

  • Ack! 'Shiny Idea New' (SIN) is catching I say! I've been plagued with that nefarious imp more than once! I'm still laughing at your anecdote….'Revise Or Die' aka (ROD)! Too great…~ Nadja

  • I've always had trouble getting myself away from revisions and getting back to drafting. For some reason I love re-writing, but drafting…not quite as much.

  • I do love my some shiny new stuff, but I can resist that fairly well. Social media is my downfall. (only slightly kidding) 🙂

  • Enid Wilson says:

    My personal plague is facebook and blogs. I spent too much on them, instead of writing.

    Every Savage Can Reproduce

  • JoAnna77 says:

    Hi Damyanti, I have just nominated you for a blog award – see for further details.
    I have also just discovered your wordpress site (Daily (W)rite) and will be following that as well as this one.
    JoAnna (Helen Clancy)

  • -E- says:

    how about "shiny incipient notion"?

  • Richard says:

    That's why we keep notebooks. Write those new ideas down and forgot about them will you continue on your wip.

  • I haven't had a Shiny New Idea in a while, but this is a rare spell–I usually get the urge to write something I'm not supposed to be thinking about whenever I'm trying to work on something. 😛

  • Shiny New Ideas happen all the time for me, but luckily I can sometimes write a scene or two and put it away for later. Sometimes. Not always. 🙂 *sigh* The plague of Shiny New Ideas.

  • Angela Brown says:

    Forgive me Father, for I have SINned. Yeah, I too fall prey to this Shiny Idea New.

    Every time it hits me, just as I'm supposed to be working on my WIP, I feel like Hammy from the movie Over the Hedge…just sulk and say, "But I like the cookie."

  • Lydia Kang says:

    OMG, that makes so much sense. SNI? SIN? Totally. It feels like a guilty pleasure to daydream about new ideas.

  • It's hard to stop messing with your MS. I can understand that. And deadlines are great! Gook luck.

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